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  1. #1
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Vice magazine: You can kill anyone with your car, as long as you don't really mean it


  2. #2
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    I delved into the comments... *sigh*

    Here's what I don't get:

    The same drivers saying "Cyclists don't belong on the roads!" are also the ones who oppose cycle paths and lanes because, "Why should we spend public money for a minority group -- I won't use it and won't support use of my tax dollars to build them!" Well, sir, it would give cyclists an option for not being on "your" roads...
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  3. #3
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    I liked the article, and it hit close to home since I live and ride in Chicago. It's SMIDSY city here at all times, especially since the cops don't seem to enforce hands-free laws. I scared a driver as I rode past and his car was drifting right because he had BOTH hands on his cell phone. I shouted in his open window "Must be a really important text?" and rode on.

    But it isn't the motorists fault, its the lawmakers. The laws and antiquated and not supportive of the newer choices people make in transportation. Which sucks as I am also facing issues having a recently experience that I was ill informed on how to handle, even my auto insurance (which covers me on a bike) didn't know how to handle it.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  4. #4
    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    It's both ironic and sad that the article mentions Vulnerable User laws in WA state since they don't actually get enforced here.

    Just yesterday, this: Person who hit and killed Caleb Shoop in Kenmore gets $175 ticket | Seattle Bike Blog

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
    It's both ironic and sad that the article mentions Vulnerable User laws in WA state since they don't actually get enforced here.

    Just yesterday, this: Person who hit and killed Caleb Shoop in Kenmore gets $175 ticket | Seattle Bike Blog
    The vulnerable user laws increase the penalties when specific unlawful actions contribute to the incident, not simply because a vulnerable user was involved, the cited example doesn't meet the criteria.

  6. #6
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Car culture is our religion and the car is our god.
    A few dead bicycle readers are a sacrificial offering to our deities.

  7. #7
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
    Car culture is our religion and the car is our god.
    A few dead bicycle readers are a sacrificial offering to our deities.
    Oh, the Drama!

    Is this what passes for bicycling advocacy?

  8. #8
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Oh, the Drama!

    Is this what passes for bicycling advocacy?
    Just an observation. I dont advocate.
    The article is correct. People in cars dont get punished for crimes committed against vulnerable users.
    We are an autocentric society. Not drama, not advocacy, just a simple observation about a simple reality of the USA.

  9. #9
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Motor vehicle drivers kill and maim a lot more other motor vehicle drivers and passengers than cyclists. Perhaps we should focus advocacy efforts to include all road users, not just us particularly vulnerable ones...
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  10. #10
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Motor vehicle drivers kill and maim a lot more other motor vehicle drivers and passengers than cyclists. Perhaps we should focus advocacy efforts to include all road users, not just us particularly vulnerable ones...
    I think its going to be many, many generations before bikes and cars coexist. While there are some pockets of real "share the road", overall, I feel both factions have too many undesirables for large-scale acceptance from both sides. As long as gas is cheap, and infrastructures/society is based on cars, it is what it is

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    The vulnerable user laws increase the penalties when specific unlawful actions contribute to the incident, not simply because a vulnerable user was involved, the cited example doesn't meet the criteria.
    In what way are the criteria not met? The vulnerable user law (see RCW 46.61.526: Negligent driving ? Second degree ? Vulnerable user victim ? Penalties ? Definitions. ) specifies who is considered a vulnerable user - and Caleb Shoop seems to qualify, and that the motor vehicle driver acted in a negligent manner that caused death or great bodily injury - which seems to be exactly what happened.

    I think the problem is more likely that 1) police and prosecutors aren't very familiar with new laws, such as the vulnerable user law, and 2) prosecutors are concerned that they won't get a unanimous jury verdict to convict when at least some of the jury members are likely to think that they themselves might someday be careless when driving and find themselves in the place of the defendant. Advocates can hope to make good headway with the first issue through their efforts, but the second problem will be much tougher as long as the jury pool is almost entirely composed of people who drive on a daily basis (and frequently under varying degrees of distraction) but haven't been on a bike since they were kids. As a result the jurors are likely to have significant empathy for the defendant and be hesitant to vote for conviction.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Oh, the Drama!

    Is this what passes for bicycling advocacy?
    Heh, actually I think {__~#<8>#~__** was spot on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    In what way are the criteria not met? The vulnerable user law (see RCW 46.61.526: Negligent driving ? Second degree ? Vulnerable user victim ? Penalties ? Definitions. ) specifies who is considered a vulnerable user - and Caleb Shoop seems to qualify, and that the motor vehicle driver acted in a negligent manner that caused death or great bodily injury - which seems to be exactly what happened.

    I think the problem is more likely that 1) police and prosecutors aren't very familiar with new laws, such as the vulnerable user law, and 2) prosecutors are concerned that they won't get a unanimous jury verdict to convict when at least some of the jury members are likely to think that they themselves might someday be careless when driving and find themselves in the place of the defendant. Advocates can hope to make good headway with the first issue through their efforts, but the second problem will be much tougher as long as the jury pool is almost entirely composed of people who drive on a daily basis (and frequently under varying degrees of distraction) but haven't been on a bike since they were kids. As a result the jurors are likely to have significant empathy for the defendant and be hesitant to vote for conviction.
    The victim was indeed a vulnerable road user, but for the law to apply there has to be negligence in the second degree as defined by the law.

    RCW 46.61.525

    Negligent driving — Second degree.
    (1)(a) A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if, under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.

    (b) It is an affirmative defense to negligent driving in the second degree that must be proved by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that the driver was operating the motor vehicle on private property with the consent of the owner in a manner consistent with the owner's consent.

    (c) Negligent driving in the second degree is a traffic infraction and is subject to a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, "negligent" means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstance.

    Sometimes its hard to remember the law isn't about right or wrong, its about the law.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    The victim was indeed a vulnerable road user, but for the law to apply there has to be negligence in the second degree as defined by the law.

    RCW 46.61.525

    Negligent driving — Second degree.
    ...
    (2) For the purposes of this section, "negligent" means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstance.

    Sometimes its hard to remember the law isn't about right or wrong, its about the law.
    Exactly - and in this particular case the motorist was cited for failing to stop and yield at a crosswalk as legally required. I.e. "failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstance."

    Since that failure to stop resulted in the death of a vulnerable road user the necessary conditions for RCW 46.61.525 were met and the additional penalties should apply. But whether a jury would find the defendant guilty is a separate question as I mentioned previously.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Exactly - and in this particular case the motorist was cited for failing to stop and yield at a crosswalk as legally required. I.e. "failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstance."

    Since that failure to stop resulted in the death of a vulnerable road user the necessary conditions for RCW 46.61.525 were met and the additional penalties should apply. But whether a jury would find the defendant guilty is a separate question as I mentioned previously.
    There's a difference between failing to stop or yield, and negligently failing to stop or yield. and apparently they determined it was the latter. Why? I don't know.

  16. #16
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    There's a difference between failing to stop or yield, and negligently failing to stop or yield. and apparently they determined it was the latter. Why? I don't know.
    According to the Seattle Bike Blog entry, the driver failed to stop because he didn't see the victim on the crosswalk. He didn't see the vim because the victim was hidden behind another car that stopped to yield to the victim. If you're in that situation and proceed, without wondering why the car to your right has stopped, then that's nothing but negligent driving.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  17. #17
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
    I think its going to be many, many generations before bikes and cars coexist. While there are some pockets of real "share the road", overall, I feel both factions have too many undesirables for large-scale acceptance from both sides. As long as gas is cheap, and infrastructures/society is based on cars, it is what it is
    Meh -- I don't expect motorists to ever happily accommodate cyclists on the roads. And because of that prejudice, I don't expect many states to adopt vulnerable road user laws. To that end, and to address the greater problem of negligent driving, I'd rather suggest that instead of spending political capital lobbying for vulnerable road user laws, include motor vehicles in tougher negligent and distracted driving laws which would give law enforcement the tools to get offenders off the roads.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    There's a difference between failing to stop or yield, and negligently failing to stop or yield. and apparently they determined it was the latter. Why? I don't know.
    You're the one who was insisting on supposedly reading the law as written. In this case the law defines "negligent" as "failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstance." So unless reasonably careful people are routinely failing to stop at crosswalks when there is someone in them and therefore running them over, the motorist in this case failed to do something that a reasonably careful person would have done and is therefore negligent as defined in this law.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    You're the one who was insisting on supposedly reading the law as written. In this case the law defines "negligent" as "failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstance." So unless reasonably careful people are routinely failing to stop at crosswalks when there is someone in them and therefore running them over, the motorist in this case failed to do something that a reasonably careful person would have done and is therefore negligent as defined in this law.
    I'm not insisting on anything, and it wasn't my decision. I'm simply pointing out what their decision was and why.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    Meh -- I don't expect motorists to ever happily accommodate cyclists on the roads. And because of that prejudice, I don't expect many states to adopt vulnerable road user laws. To that end, and to address the greater problem of negligent driving, I'd rather suggest that instead of spending political capital lobbying for vulnerable road user laws, include motor vehicles in tougher negligent and distracted driving laws which would give law enforcement the tools to get offenders off the roads.
    And then people would cry foul about "police state", "harassment", and "enforcement for profit".
    I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for laws or infrastructure that significantly change the road use experience.

  21. #21
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    The vulnerable user laws increase the penalties when specific unlawful actions contribute to the incident, not simply because a vulnerable user was involved, the cited example doesn't meet the criteria.
    Clear affirmative claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I'm not insisting on anything, and it wasn't my decision. I'm simply pointing out what their decision was and why.
    Back pedaling when proven wrong.
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  22. #22
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    This thread has lost it's way and descended into a mess. Please find a way to redeem the original topic or close the thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
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  23. #23
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    IMO anyone that drives drunk as that driver did, puts him in the catagory of premediatated murder!!! Of course it wont bring back the life of the cyclist, but that driver needs to be punished to the full extent of the law.

    How about a full 10 years in jail, and then 10 years of house arrest where he cant leave his house. Have a GPS cuff on him to assure he stays in his house. That way his family will have to support him and not the taxpayer!!!

  24. #24
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    IMO anyone that drives drunk as that driver did, puts him in the catagory of premediatated murder!!! Of course it wont bring back the life of the cyclist, but that driver needs to be punished to the full extent of the law.

    How about a full 10 years in jail, and then 10 years of house arrest where he cant leave his house. Have a GPS cuff on him to assure he stays in his house. That way his family will have to support him and not the taxpayer!!!
    Which is it? The written law or your vindictive "IMO" version of it?
    How about punished to the full extent of the law, not your personal vigilante/lynch mob version?

  25. #25
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Which is it? The written law or your vindictive "IMO" version of it?
    How about punished to the full extent of the law, not your personal vigilante/lynch mob version?
    You should visit Chicago, lynch mobs here don't carry torches and pitchforks, they have smart phones, cameras, twitter and facebook accounts. Which those combined to a lot more damage than just stringing one person up.

    It is sad, IMO, that drivers can get away without facing charges they should face because laws are vague, or leave the matter up to "touchy-feelly" emotional responses of having a juror made to feel they could be in the defendants position. I'd hope a civil case might be made to assist the family of the deceased but if you lose a criminal case, the civil may not be easy won.

    Because of the rising incidents in Chicago I am getting a camera to helmet mount or put somewhere. I already had one run in and because I wasn't prepared, I am stuck with a busted bike. Luckily my car insurance covers the small medical issues that arose.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

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